The New York Stock Exchange listed its first cannabis cultivator Thursday, marking a key milestone that analysts say makes the industry more accessible to institutional and retail investors – and could draw large American banks to the sector.
But in its NYSE debut, Ontario-based Canopy Growth got a chilly reception from investors. It closed the day down 6.7%, at $28.20.
By comparison, the Marijuana Index, which tracks 41 leading medical cannabis stocks, lost 2.09%. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed just 0.3%.
Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton said the listing opens the doors to the largest investors and institutions in the United States.
Canopy is active in eight countries.
“This is the most reputable market in the world, and this is where you want to be listed,” said Sean Stiefel, portfolio manager at Navy Capital in New York. “It makes people much more inclined to transact and bank cannabis securities when they’re on the two major exchanges in the U.S.”
He said large U.S. banks involved in legal cannabis “increases many multiples” when stocks are on the NYSE and Nasdaq versus any of the Canadian exchanges.
“There’s a lot of issues related to prime brokerage and clearing, and what banks will trade. But now by being on the New York Stock Exchange you alleviate all those,” he said.
Canopy Growth follows Ontario-based Cronos Group as the only fully integrated medical marijuana companies traded on the two top stock markets in the United States.
But the listings don’t portend a flood of marijuana companies seeking listings on the NYSE and Nasdaq, experts say.
Chris Damas, editor of the Barrie, Ontario-based BCMI Cannabis Report, said more stringent requirements in the United States present hurdles for any Canadian marijuana company considering the move.
“I doubt more companies will be seeking an NYSE listing,” he said, “because their boards are too small, there aren’t enough independent directors and the chairman is often the president and CEO.”
Matt Lamers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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